Guatemala's Fuego volcano has erupted, spewing out smoke and ash, forcing the widespread evacuation of thousands of Guatemalans living in the shadow of the massive volcano.

With little time to prepare for the sudden evacuation, Red Cross officials and volunteers were called in to help terrified families settle into temporary shelter at a local school in the Santa Lucia municipality.

This Red Cross volunteer explained how many people there were currently receiving aid at the centre.

"At the moment, we have accounted for 304 people, we have 97 boys, 93 girls, 95 women and 19 men. Amongst them are five pregnant women and four people with disabilities, one person, who is not self-mobile and arrived in a plastic chair, because they do not have a wheelchair, and this is what is worrying us the most as well."

According to authorities, some 8,000 people have been evacuated and an additional 23,000 are awaiting evacuation in towns surrounding the massive volcano. This is the second big eruption in the last two years for the country following the eruption of Pacaya in 2010, which is one of Guatemala's four active volcanoes. It then covered Guatemala City with a layer of ash, closing the airport, and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of families.

We are continuing to receive reports on this volcano story.

Written and presented by Ann Salter.